Dairy Feed costs
Dairy Feed costs - cutting your cake bill.
Purchasing feed for ruminant and dairy use is the biggest input cost on most Devon farms, so when it comes to cost saving small changes can make a big difference.
To maintain yields and ensure good levels of health and fertility animals need to be well fed. Reducing feed rates or using cheaper ingredients and having an unbalanced ration have profound long term effects on output.
This is a short term cost cutting exercise best avoided.
Feed accuracy is crucial, ensuring that you are targeting feed so it is giving you the biggest return. There are better options to improve animal feed costs without the prospect of negative long term affects.
Feeder calibration is an area that is often overlooked, but can have a massive impact on feed costs on the farm, not only on total feed usage but on the variation on individual animals in the herd.
Crediton Milling in Devon have been encouraging some of their farmers to go through this process, the results have been interesting to say the least.
On average the total over feed was in the region of 10%, with large variations seen on individual feeders within a parlour (+ and - 50%). Ideally this needs to be checked whenever your cake changes as bulk densities may well vary.
Contact your local ruminant and dairy feed suppliers in Devon for more information.